Recovery of an injured fornix in a stroke patient
Sang Seok Yeo , Sung Ho Jang
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Taegu, Korea
Objective: Knowledge about recovery of an injured fornix following brain injury is limited. We describe here a patient who showed recovery of an injured fornix following stroke.
Case report: A 57-year-old female patient underwent coiling for a ruptured anterior communicating cerebral artery aneurysm, and conservative management for subarachnoid and intraventricular haemorrhage. The patient showed severe cognitive impairment 6 weeks after onset. However, her cognition showed continuous improvement with time; based on the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Memory Assessment Scale, her cognition was within the normal range 7 months after onset.
Results: Findings from diffusion tensor tractography at 6 weeks and 7 months showed discontinuations in both columns of the fornix. The proximal portion of both crus also showed discontinuation on diffusion tensor tractography at 6 weeks and 7 months; however, on 7-month diffusion tensor tractography, the end of the fornical body was shown to be connected to the splenium of the corpus callosum and then branched to the right medial temporal lobe and right thalamus.
Conclusion: The unusual neural connection between the injured fornix and the thalamus appears to be a recovery phenomenon, which allows the injured fornix and the medial temporal lobe to obtain cholinergic innervation from cholinergic nuclei in the brainstem rather than from cholinergic nuclei in the basal forebrain.
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